A recent court denied a motion to preliminarily enjoin distribution of copyrighted dildos, noting that dildos are useful articles, and separating the copyrightable expression from the unprotectible ideas would be … difficult. Bill Patry excerpted some of the best parts of the decision. Conwest Resources, Inc. v. Playtime Novelties, 2006 WL 3346226 (N.D. Cal. 2006).
It used to be that my most exciting legal props quest was to find a jeweled bee pin.
Thanks to my partner (a postdoc) who sent me this illustrative graphic from the report.
* I say “husband” instead of “spouse” because I suspect this report, while in theory about “marriage”, most likely included only or primarily heterosexual partnership/marriages. This report and many others show that academic men do better with wives than without, while this report shows that academic women do better without husbands than with. The rather personal question it raises for me is, what about lesbian professional/academic couples? Does the penalty for “marriage” apply?
Also, does the parenting penalty apply only to the birth-mom or the stay-at-home mom, or does it apply regardless based on choices that most moms make to prioritize their children, regardless of the presence or absence of gender of their partner? The data showed that single moms did better than married-to-a-man moms, so I suspect that the problem for academic moms is not motherhood, per se, but persistent sexism in academic moms’ heterosexual relationships. Is there a better way to understand this data?
Despite being firmly warned to not post on blogs this week but to focus on my deadline, I found this too delicious to not post:
On July 13, 2006, Kent Hovind was arrested and indicted in federal court on 58 charges. Of the charges filed, there is one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws, including falsifying bankruptcy documents, filing a false and frivolous lawsuit and complaints against the IRS, destroying records, and threatening to harm IRS investigators. 12 of the charges are for failing to pay employee-related taxes, totaling $473,818, and 45 charges of evading reporting requirements by making multiple cash withdrawals just under the $10,000 reporting requirement (smurfing). The withdrawals, totaling $430,500, were placed in 2001 and 2002.
Hovind has maintained his innocence. “I still don’t understand what I’m being charged for and who is charging me,” he said.  Magistrate Miles Davis asked Hovind if he wrote and spoke English, to which Hovind responded “To some degree”. Davis replied that the government adequately explained the allegations and the defendant understands the charges “whether you want to admit it or not.” A September 5 trial date has been set for Kent Hovind and his co-defendant wife, Jo, who faces 44 charges. Hovind stated that he did not recognize the government’s right to try him on tax-fraud charges and entered a not guilty plea “under duress” when the judge offered to enter a plea for him.
Alas it’s a forward of a forward so I don’t have the original cite. (update: apparently it’s from the latest updates to the wikipedia entry on Hovind)
I’ll be cross-posting my derivative work material to Sivacracy now. I feel particularly honored to be blogging along with Siva & Ann Bartow, who have both been out on the front lines for a long while, pointing out injustices, stupidities, and wrong directions.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an information activist: a former librarian and media activist who was driven to become a lawyer by the craziness of copyright law, particularly, and IP, privacy, telecomm, and speech broadly. I’m working this year at the NYU Brennan Center for Justice with Marjorie Heins, developing a fair use network. I’m passionate about individual autonomy and assessing/fighting the forces that impact it: economic injustice, state coercion, & cultural practices like religion, sexism, and racism. That sounds dorky enough, but I’ll up the ante by adding that I’m also an old-school geek of the science fiction, books, & computer type, so occasionally I burst forth with fannish squees over, for instance, a new Joss Whedon or pirate movie. Followed immediately by sober analyses of its racialized dynamics and inappropriate uses of the terms “piracy”, “theft”, “stealing” and stolen-lawnmower analogies, I promise.
I’m working my way through a new report from Consumers International on copyright’s impact on access to knowledge in eleven different developing nations. The study reviews the statutes and finds that in almost all ways, developing nations have afforded more copyright protections than required by international treaties, to the detriment of public access to information.
oh happy day! The war on us is progressing nicely and soon we will have won the war against ourselves. Phones are being tapped willy-nilly and surely some of them will generate some useful information to allow us to be held without trial or access to the courts indefinitely under the president’s powers. The government is cracking down on those enemies of the state, video game retailers.
This nyt article on teen s3xc@ms raised a lot of interesting issues, not least of which was the role of the NYT reporter(s) in developing the story.
update 3pm 12/20: I see that I wasn’t alone in finding the journalist ethics issues troubling. Jack Shafer @ Slate also raised the issue, and got the reporter to respond. The ensuing dialog sheds a little more light on some of the missing back-story. [link from boingboing; see also sexerati]
questionable authority reviews a pro-‘intelligent design theory’ entry that describes a future history of the fabulous medical and scientific breakthroughs generated by ‘intelligent design theory’ and the abandonment of ‘Darwinism’. While the whole post is highly recommended, it was one of the commentors who really tickled my fancy. Responding to the future history’s assertion that ‘Darwinist’ scientists ignore ‘junk DNA’*, commentator Stephen Stralka adds:
It also occurs to me that no matter how much functionality we ultimately discover in junk DNA, none of it will be any better evidence for ID than what we currently know about DNA.
The kind of thing that would be evidence of design would be if the junk DNA turned out to contain stuff like copyright notices and license agreements.
Or copy protection. DRM-protected genomes that prevent unauthorized replications, derivative works, jumping genes & species hopping diseases? Or maybe when you have a baby, a rootkit installs itself on the parents’ reproductive organs, preventing them from further replications. I do indeed see a great future for ‘intelligent design theory’.
(Another commenter followed up:
Oh, man. “If you agree to the terms of this pregnancy, click Agree. Otherwise, click Abort.”
Except that he’s missing about 5 screens’ worth of finely printed legal verbiage about restrictions on the pregnancy and abortion process. Luckily Frontline has got it covered.)
* According to the ‘future history of intelligent design’, ‘Darwinian’ scientists don’t do research on ‘junk DNA’. really? in this future history, will my partner’s dissertation & ongoing postdoc work on various aspects of gene regulation turn out to have all just been a terrible and poorly-compensated decade-long dream?
Scientologists do this all the time: Operation Clambake has its own response to copyright issues. A few cites: Religious Technology Center v. Netcom On-Line communication Services, Inc., 923 F.Supp. 1231 (N.D. Cal. 1995); Religious Technology Center v. F.A.C.T.Net, Inc., 901 F.Supp. 1519 (D.Col. 1995).
Worldwide Church of God sued Philadelphia Church of God, 227 F.3d 1110 (9th Cir. 2000), for distributing the WCG founders’ earlier, racist works after WCG had disavowed them.
I’m almost always infuriated when I hear about publicly licensed networks and stations refusing to air political ads. The latest: A media critique ad that aims to bring attention to the Darfur genocide. Be A Witness.
The Copyright Office is taking comments (thank god) on the current preregistration system which supports Internet Explorer only. 70 FR 44878-79 (8/4): Preregistration of Certain Unpublished Copyright Claims [PDF] [seen on news.com via sivacracy; and zdnet via news.google]
Of course, comments are not being accepted electronically (and why not? It’s easy enough to write scripts accepting open source comments. Hell, they could probably borrow the FCC’s electronic comment system; that’s been up for years). Comments are DUE by Monday, Aug. 22, 2005.
If hand delivered by a private party, an original and five copies of any comment should be brought to Room LM-401 of the James Madison Memorial Building between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. and the envelope should be addressed as follows: Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office, James Madison Memorial Building, Room LM-401, 101 Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000. If hand delivered by a commercial courier, an original and five copies of any comment must be delivered to the Congressional Courier Acceptance Site located at Second and D Streets, NE., Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The envelope should be addressed as follows: Copyright Office General Counsel, Room LM-403, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC. If sent by mail, an original and five copies of any comment should be addressed to: Copyright GC/ I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024-0400. Comments may not be delivered by means of overnight delivery services such as Federal Express, United Parcel Service, etc., due to delays in processing receipt of such deliveries.
this post on the buggydoo blog (“one good thing”) does two important things: (1) it makes a sensible comment on the snarky ‘media coverage of missing white women’ blog-o-phenomena, and (2) it draws attention to a missing woman, Latoyia Figueroa, who has not gotten as much media attention, clearly on account of race.
I am uncomfortable with the bloggers who have been sneering about “missing white women” lately, mostly because it doesn’t have the effect I think they’re going for. It’s very trendy with liberal bloggers to make comments like “Oh, ho hum, look at the media go crazy over another missing white woman.” or “CNN isn’t covering the war in Iraq because, hold the presses, there’s another missing white woman!” I understand the intent behind this is to point out the racism behind the manufactured press hysteria, but what actually happens is this: black, asian, and hispanic women still get ignored, and white women are held in contempt and blamed for media coverage over which they have no control. That’s it.